Photography Portfolio - Day 3 - The image capture process for that construction photography I was talking about the other day

So image number one is completed. And here it is.

Horndean Technology Centre by Rick McEvoy Construction Photographer in Hampshire

Horndean Technology Centre by Rick McEvoy Construction Photographer in Hampshire

The RAW file

The RAW file

And here are the two shots that I actually used to create this image. The bracketed shots.

2 stops under-exposed

2 stops under-exposed

2 stops over-exposed

2 stops over-exposed

So how did I go about getting this shot? I will write in this post about image capture, and tomorrow about image processing.

I could not tripod mount. The viewing angle was far too high. I had my camera clamped to the top of my stepladders using a Manfrotto Magic Arm. I needed to get higher than the fence to include the new garden in the shot, which was a big part of the story of this shot. The story here is the recladding of the building, internal remodelling of the ground floor and the construction of a brand new external space. Obviously I can’t get the internal and external elements in one shot – internals I shot separately.

A quick note on the Magic arm – get the quick release plate that fixes onto the arm itself that is compatible with your tripod quick release plate so you can quickly attach and detach your camera. I use an L bracket so I can get portrait and landscape shots from the same viewpoint – I just detach the camera, rotate through 90 degrees and re-attach – this makes shooting much easier as you can spend a lot of time framing up to get everything just as it should be.

Even though my camera was clamped on I was still concerned about movement, so I used an ISO of 400. I always use as low an ISO as possible, but if the choice is increase the ISO or have a blurry image I will always increase the ISO.

The first (correct) exposure was 1/60th second at F8. The two stop underexposed shot was taken at 1/250th second, the two stop over exposed shot being taken at 1/15th second. That was the problem shot, with an exposure of such a length taken from an arm clamped to a pair of step ladders I was standing on. I really didn’t want to push the ISO any more than that, even though the noise performance of the 6D is pretty good.

All images taken a focal length of 19mm on my Canon 17-40mm F4 l lens. AV mode was used, with an aperture of F8.

I use back-button focus for shots like this, framing the image, then focusing, then metering then shooting. It ends becoming a precise operation.

This shot took quite a while to frame up, as I always try to get the composure as correct as possible in camera. I do not rely on post-processing to correct verticals unless I have to – usually when I have to tilt the camera to fit in all of a building. And if you are wondering why the bottom of the path is cut off, this is because I could not get far enough forward to included it in the shot.

The portrait format shot is below.

Portrait shot

Portrait shot

This which works well, and is a great image on it's own, but does not give enough context to me. And as it is a portfolio shot I do not want to be going from portrait to landscape really.

As to the shots, you can see what the 2 stop bracketing is doing – the 2 stop under exposed shot is pulling out all the details in the shadows, and the 2 stop over exposed shot gives all the highlights. Put the two together in Lightroom and as if by magic you get the bit in the middle as well!

That is how Lightroom HDR Merge was designed do be used. So this is a great example of shooting to edit – I know before I take a shot what I am going to do with it.

The rest of the taking of the shot was straight forward. AV mode, F8, all fine. Back button focus allows me to focus my image first (I will write a separate back-button focus tips post anotehr time) then recompose if necessary, and meter and shoot separately. As I am shooting inanimate objects, this works for me. I know where I need to focus, and to be honest metering is a separate activity now the way I work, so if you are not familiar with back button focus but shoot using a tripod give it a go.

So I have my three images. What then? Come back to my blog tomorrow to read about the processing used to get to this final construction photography in Hampshire image at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk/blog